I don't know what to do with my new CNC machine
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    20
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Default I don't know what to do with my new CNC machine

    Hi guys,
    I just purchased a brand new HAAS vertical 3 axis mill and also I have access to CAD/CAM software, and have some manufacturing experiences, but honestly, I don't know how I can make money out of the machine since it is the very first time I have my own machine. I have worked for other companies as an engineer ( programming their CNCs) and now I am teaching in university ( I have a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering), and just purchased the machine to have a side job and probably make some extra money. I just decided to post this thread here to see if you could help me to find something to manufacture or teach me how to advertise and probably find potential local customers. Any ideas are appreciated.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,855
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7372
    Likes (Received)
    7455

    Default

    LOL, getting the machine is the easy part.

    Put an add on craigslist in the services section.

  3. Likes Ray-BGKY, barbter liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    4,659
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4266
    Likes (Received)
    2822

    Default

    Let me get this straight.... You buy a machine BEFORE you have an order for parts?

    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?

  5. Likes Ray-BGKY liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,831
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3348
    Likes (Received)
    782

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-BGKY View Post
    Hi guys,
    I just purchased a brand new HAAS vertical 3 axis mill and also I have access to CAD/CAM software, and have some manufacturing experiences, but honestly, I don't know how I can make money out of the machine since it is the very first time I have my own machine. I have worked for other companies as an engineer ( programming their CNCs) and now I am teaching in university ( I have a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering), and just purchased the machine to have a side job and probably make some extra money. I just decided to post this thread here to see if you could help me to find something to manufacture or teach me how to advertise and probably find potential local customers. Any ideas are appreciated.
    Thanks
    Hi Ray,

    Purely random (brain farts here) ~ busy day.

    Prototype work comes to mind where you can combine essentially consulting (exploiting your engineering knowledge and design engineering ability) with nascent hands on capability to physically produce stuff that you have full understanding of in terms of their function, purpose and integration into larger more complex systems.

    That's an added value.

    A lot of job shops don't like to do one's and two's as they can't charge enough $ that a client will accept, they'd rather have much longer runs of hundreds to thousands.

    Only being 3 axis you may have to learn to be a "Fixture ninja" and pinch /steal a few approaches from the tool and die world. If you have good skills and your 3d mathematical transformations are sound then you can do a lot without 5 axis initially.

    If you are almost devising components and systems iteratively (with a client) then its likely you will need other processes outside of your current equipment list . so might pay to get to know other smaller prototype shops in your area that might specialize in Wired EDM , Grinding, Anodizing , turning etc. So you build up a network you can provide business for to complete more complex projects.

    You are probably gonna need other odss and sods for support equipment like a surface grinder or manual lathe or second hand cnc lathe etc. (to begin with).

    Also offer design engineering services seperately.

    The problem with only a 3 axis CNC mill you can only generate parts that are one link in a chain as opposed to prototyping more complete sub assemblies that use a range of techniques.

    I am not formally a machinist but have had to do a LOT of hands on engineering over three decades (at least) more on the optical / aerospace front. My company has one foot in software development and one foot in specialized hardware for advanced imaging. But very small and independent.

    @Ray-BGKY what are your principal strengths and knowledge base in the mechanical engineering world that you could combine with practical hands on work ?

    If you trade your time to learn and give customers a break (initially) and be super super patient then you can start to build up a network of "Peeps" that use your services as they like to work with you and your engineering "Added value".

    __________________

    @Ray you have to devise a fairly hyper efficient learning path for yourself that also dovetails with specific projects you are working on. Very difficult to accumulate a very deep and wide breadth of knowledge quickly (like a lot of the folks here have ) but it is possible to become your own master of a few specialized techniques you need to develop given time.

    Could be few years until you actually break even and start making money with all the things you need to figure out … That's up to you and a bit of luck + perseverance + "people skills" not just machining skills.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    20
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Default

    Mtndew
    Actually it is, but it is fine since I installed the machine in my garage ( no rent) and I already paid for the machine. Hopefully, I will find some jobs for the machine. I think it is just a matter of time.

  8. Likes DavidScott, wheelieking71, Mtndew liked this post
  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,855
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7372
    Likes (Received)
    7455

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-BGKY View Post
    Hi guys, how I can make money out of the machine since it is the very first time I have my own machine
    You make chips. Chips = $$$$. It really is that simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    Let me get this straight.... You buy a machine BEFORE you have an order for parts?

    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?
    I did exactly that as well. But, at least I knew what I was doing.

  10. Likes Ray-BGKY liked this post
  11. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dewees Texas
    Posts
    2,349
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    27
    Likes (Received)
    632

    Default

    You have a day job and hopefully not making payments. If so there is no real pressure. I made a good living looking for over priced hardware and making it cheaper. Shear screws and core cables for wire line companies doing open hole well services. Now I am making parts for the electronic service industry. A lot of production quantity stuff is marked up to high and there will be room for hungry people to undercut. Sometimes the people you are competing against are paying too much for their products. I found this out after competing with Gearhart Industries for a while, the shear screws they were selling for 45 cents was because they were paying 30 cents for them. Later we ran into each other and I made a pretty good living selling to them and Halliburton when they were bought out.

  12. Likes cameraman, Ray-BGKY liked this post
  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,855
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7372
    Likes (Received)
    7455

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-BGKY View Post
    Actually it is, but it is fine since I installed the machine in my garage ( no rent) and I already paid for the machine. Hopefully, I will find some jobs for the machine. I think it is just a matter of time.
    It is. You just have to put the word out there.
    You will do well to get your CAM on site as well. When you do get something in the door, time will be a factor.
    Good luck.

  14. Likes cameraman, Ray-BGKY liked this post
  15. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    20
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    Hi Ray,

    Purely random (brain farts here) ~ busy day.

    Prototype work comes to mind where you can combine essentially consulting (exploiting your engineering knowledge and design engineering ability) with nascent hands on capability to physically produce stuff that you have full understanding of in terms of their function, purpose and integration into larger more complex systems.

    That's an added value.

    A lot of job shops don't like to do one's and two's as they can't charge enough $ that a client will accept, they'd rather have much longer runs of hundreds to thousands.

    Only being 3 axis you may have to learn to be a "Fixture ninja" and pinch steal a few approached from the tool and die world. If you have good skills and your 3d mathematical transformations are sound then you can do a lot without 5 axis initially.

    If you are almost devising components and systems iteratively (with a client) then its likely you will need other processes outside of your current equipment list . so might pay to get to know other smaller prototype shops in your area that might specialize in Wired EDM , Grinding Anodizing , turning etc. So you build up a network you can provide business for to complete more complex projects.

    You are probably gonna need other odss and sods for support equipment like a surface grinder or manual lathe or second hand cnc lathe etc. (to begin with).

    Also offer design engineering services seperately.

    The problem with only a 3 axis CNC mill you can only generate parts that are one link in a chain as opposed to prototyping more complete sub assemblies that use a range of techniques.

    I am not formally a machinist but have had to do a LOT of hands on engineering over three decades (at least) more on the optical / aerospace front. My company has one foot in software development and one foot in specialized hardware for advanced imaging. But very small and independent.

    @Ray-BGKY what are your principal strengths and knowledge base in the mechanical engineering world that you could combine with practical hands on work ?

    If you trade your time to learn and give customers a break (initially) and be super super patient then you can start to build up a network of "Peeps" that sell your services as they like to work with you and your engineering "Added value".

    __________________


    Need a quick edit / slap round the ear hole
    Hi Cameraman and thanks for your time replying my thread,
    You are absolutely right. I made several prototyping projects in the past for my engineering service business and i always used job shops for those works ( that was my motivation to buy the machine). I also know other local shops for EDM, Laser cut, Lathe work,... the problem is that I don't have enough customers for prototyping jobs. Answering your question about my principal strengths, I am very good at Solidworks, Mastercam, and also I have 15 years' experience in engineering design.I am teaching industrial materials at school and i know about selecting the right material and heat treatment as well as casting and sheet metal.

  16. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    2,854
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1103
    Likes (Received)
    1138

    Default

    Perhaps take a day off and go meet anyone you can think of that may need your services, talk to them face to face. If they don't need your services then do they know anyone else who may? Network. If you don't have work then you should be out there looking for it, which is work in its own way, the non-paying work you have to do to be able to do the paying work. As a shop owner you will be more in touch with that non-paying work and how much there really is.

  17. Likes Ray-BGKY, wheelieking71 liked this post
  18. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Country
    PHILIPPINES
    Posts
    2,449
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    545
    Likes (Received)
    779

    Default

    and also I have access to CAD/CAM software
    Tread lightly with that. The way I'm reading into this is you don't have a CAD/CAM seat, you are using someone elses version? Most EULA's don't allow for that. I was using my own seat of Featurecam programming at other factories and got a nasty-gram from Delcam explaining that what I was doing violated my EULA and voided our contract. If you can afford a VMC for your garage surely you can afford a cheap seat of software rather than risking someone else's licence.

    As far as work goes, You could always try Xeometry....

  19. Likes Ray-BGKY liked this post
  20. #12
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    362
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    97
    Likes (Received)
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    Perhaps take a day off and go meet anyone you can think of that may need your services, talk to them face to face. If they don't need your services then do they know anyone else who may? Network. If you don't have work then you should be out there looking for it, which is work in its own way, the non-paying work you have to do to be able to do the paying work. As a shop owner you will be more in touch with that non-paying work and how much there really is.
    Do this but machine some somewhat impressive parts dead on size and bring them with you. Anyone can talk about doing nice work

  21. Likes Ray-BGKY liked this post
  22. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    5,855
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7372
    Likes (Received)
    7455

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardplates View Post
    Do this but machine some somewhat impressive parts dead on size and bring them with you. Anyone can talk about doing nice work
    I wouldn't offer the parts up front. But, being able to back up what you state your capabilities are is a good plan.

  23. Likes DavidScott, Ray-BGKY liked this post
  24. #14
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    362
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    97
    Likes (Received)
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    I wouldn't offer the parts up front. But, being able to back up what you state your capabilities are is a good plan.
    No no, not a freebie or anything like that. Just a sample to show and take back with you.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  25. Likes Ray-BGKY liked this post
  26. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Connecticut
    Posts
    864
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    22
    Likes (Received)
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardplates View Post
    Do this but machine some somewhat impressive parts dead on size and bring them with you. Anyone can talk about doing nice work
    Or at least make a print that matches the part


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  27. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Temecula, Ca
    Posts
    2,843
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1277
    Likes (Received)
    3675

    Default

    Hot dog cart?

  28. #17
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    362
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    97
    Likes (Received)
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    Or at least make a print that matches the part


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    That would work also...……

  29. #18
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,001
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1200
    Likes (Received)
    628

    Default

    Send me the machine and I'll make money with it.

  30. Likes nihilistic, Ray-BGKY liked this post
  31. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    371
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1101
    Likes (Received)
    146

    Default

    When my family owned the shop I made injection molds during the day and what ever the hell I wanted to at night....... Miss those days. Creativity is what keeps me going, so make something your proud of. It gives you levels of experimentation that a day job does not have time for.

  32. Likes mhajicek, Ray-BGKY liked this post
  33. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Se Ma USA
    Posts
    1,497
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    115
    Likes (Received)
    840

    Default

    Persistence is your friend here. Or as my FIL used to say "even a blind pig occasionally finds an acorn". At some point you will find something. While waiting you can look around some scrap yards for cheap metal to practice on. Or engineering plastics to play with. Stuff that can be machined with little or no tool wear.

  34. Likes Ray-BGKY liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •